A flag should be taken care of and shown respect, John Schupp, Tiffin University professor of chemistry, said during a flag retirement ceremony Wednesday hosted by TU’s Student Veterans’ Organization.
The organization has come together to restore flags around Tiffin. The project, called “Restore the Glory,” has replaced six flags so far with 25 more that need attention.
“The goal of this ceremony is to educate the students of Tiffin University and the members of the city of Tiffin about the American flag and its etiquette to include proper retirement,” organization president Michael Porter said.
Six flags were retired. To retire a flag, the 13 stripes have to be cut apart one at a time and burned with the blue field with the stars to be burned at once, said organization vice president Tyler Todd.
During the ceremony, Schupp, the group’s faculty advisor, spoke about the history of the flag and how it has evolved into the flag known today.
Schupp said there are positive and negative associations with the flag. For example, U.S. servicemen and women see the flag as an accomplishment coming home.
“As civilians, we see the flag (also) as an accomplishment and associated with the Pledge of Allegiance and a show of pride,” Schupp said.
Foreigners see the flag as a chance at a better life and a flag in a foreign country is a show of aid, he said.
“Negative associations: For U.S. servicemen and women, the flag could also mean a show of difficult times and a sense of being abandoned by one’s country,” Schupp said.
Todd spoke about etiquette of flying a flag. Some guidelines include never letting the flag touch the ground, not flying the flag upside unless in an emergency, not carrying the flag flat, not using the flag as clothing, not flying the flag where it can get dirty, not drawing or marking on the flag and not flying the flag at night unless it is well lit.
“The flag has a great power of symbolism,” Schupp said. “This country started by a great idea, as did the creation of the flag.”